The Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament has been a welcome event in the middle of the last few Buffalo winters. Taking notes from it’s older cousin in Eagle River, Wisconsin, the Buffalo tournament has truly become a must-play for any beer leaguer in Western New York.
As is the case with sport in Buffalo, things have rarely gone according to plan. The tournament has been plagued by bad ice, warm weather and many hiccups. 2012 was the climax of various hurdles over the first five iterations as the Inner Harbor didn’t freeze and the tournament needed to change over to a street hockey format.
The tournament organizers are obviously trying to combat that by building in additional fail-safe methods for the upcoming tournament. However the changes being made have a very disappointing tone to them. The tournament will change from a weekend long event to a one-day marathon of hockey and the registration process has also changed from first-come first-serve to a lottery process. Continue reading